Thompson Boxing is back on the grind
It’s been a whirlwind past few weeks for Thompson Boxing Promotions and its General Manager/Matchmaker Alex Camponovo, whose travels took him to Kyoto, Japan, to begin the month, then Las Vegas last weekend. Tonight they’ll put on another edition of “New Blood” from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.
Boxing is truly an international sport – at every level – and, for guys like Camponovo, that means traveling often and sometimes on short notice.
He began the month of September in Kyoto, Japan, where Danny Roman – a young man who Thompson Boxing had developed for years – would face Shun Kubo for the WBA 122-pound title. They had gone twice to the “Land of the Rising Sun” and came up empty-handed in title fights. But this time around, Roman put forth a dominant outing and halted Kubo in nine.
(Not for nothing, I was on the call for this bout, as well.)
“Besides the money factor, which is obviously part of any business, there’s also the human value of it,” said Camponovo. “How much time we actually spend planning and going through all the different issues any fighter goes through in his career. From setbacks, specifically for Danny when he fought early in his career against Takashi (Okada) and when he fought against (Juan) Reyes and he had a setback.”
Both Okada and Reyes defeated Roman, 23-2-1 (9), early in his career.
“And we had long conversations with his manager and the direction we were going and trying to figure out a path to the world title, once we got there with the WBA, once he became an NABA champion,” Camponovo continued. “It takes a lot and I’m not trying to say it’s rocket science but that takes a lot of work and effort from everybody involved, from his team, our group. So it’s very gratifying to see that everything that you have thought about panned out and it never happens the same way.
“It’s been awhile since one of our guys won a championship, especially one of the guys we built from zero and it’s extremely gratifying because it’s a long-term project and to see where it is now is tremendous.”
Then last week, Camponovo wound up in Las Vegas, where he brought Rafael “Big Bang” Rivera to face Joseph Diaz Jr., on the Saul Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view undercard at the T-Mobile Arena. On Tuesday night of fight week, he got a call from Golden Boy Promotions’ matchmaker Robert Diaz, asking if Rivera (who’s appeared on Thompson Boxing cards in the past) was available. Rivera, who was scheduled to be on tonight’s card, was quickly put in Jorge Lara’s place. As that occurred, Camponovo’s plans for the weekend changed quickly.
This evening’s promotion features two of Thompson Boxing’s brightest prospects, Ruben Villa and Michael Dutchover. These are the exact same types of shows on which Roman was nurtured.
Camponovo says of his two young guns, “They have all the tools, the amateur pedigree to get there. They have the drive; they’re young and I’ve always said, it’s just not about the talent. It’s also about how much hard work you put inside the gym and when you’re doing your roadwork. They have that drive. They have that hunger.”
Villa, a featherweight with a mark of 7-0 (4), is being paired with veteran Ernesto Guerrero, 27-20 (19), while Dutchover, 5-0 (4), will face Carlos Flores, 4-5-1 (3). The night’s main event at the Doubletree Hotel has Jose Roman against Wilberth Lopez.
“The kids have to be tested. They have to know exactly where they stand and they need to know not everything is going to be a walk-through and that’s the learning experience they have to take with them the next fight,” says Camponovo.
On November 25, former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev will make his return to the ring as he faces Vyacheslav Shabranskyy at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on HBO.
Can a show on Thanksgiving weekend draw in the “Big Apple”?
“We’ve actually done several of them in Canada and it’s a big concert weekend,” explained Kathy Duva of Main Events. “All the big arenas usually have events. The big room is booked with a concert, so we’re at the Theater. So we’ve got 5,000 seats in the venue and we’re feeling good. Our pre-sale is strong and I think we’re going to do really well.
“The Garden does a tremendous job of marketing and we have very good ties with the Eastern European crowd, so we’re very optimistic.”
NEWS AND NOTES
– Unified light heavyweight champion Andre Ward announced his retirement on Thursday morning, which came as a bit of a surprise. Word is that HBO was on the verge of a multi-fight deal with Ward and had planned to make the announcement on the weekend of the “SuperFly” card in Carson, California. Perhaps this is more of a RocNation Sports issue?
Regardless, if this retirement is official (and you know how these things go), Ward will be a surefire Hall-of-Famer, who will have his place in Canastota safely secured.
– Showtime will televise IBF/WBA heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua’s bout against Kubrat Pulev on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales. The network has broadcast Joshua’s last four bouts.
– Ringstar Sports and the “World Boxing Super Series,” which resumes this weekend in San Antonio, Texas, with the explosive cruiserweight tilt between Yunier Dorticos and Dmitry Kudryashov, will donate 10 percent of the gate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and the San Antonio Food Bank.
This event, which takes place at the Alamodome, has tickets priced at: $250, $125, $100, $50 and $30.
To watch this fight. you can catch a free stream at WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com.
– Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez told Doug Fischer and me on the latest live episode of RingTV.com’s “Between the Ropes” that he will be meeting with K2 Promotions’ Managing Director Tom Loeffler to start discussing the Alvarez-Golovkin rematch.
The October 6 edition of the “L.A. Fight Club” at the Belasco Theater will be co-headlined by Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez and Edgar Valerio…The non-televised undercard from the Forum this Saturday night will be streamed on RingTV.com, beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT…Tickets to “New Blood” are priced at $100, $60 and $40. And yes, Beto Duran and I will once again be on the call on ThompsonBoxing.com and its Facebook page…The October 19 edition of “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN” has Gabe Rosado-Glen Tapia. Yeah, not a fan of this match-up…Nonito Donaire is on the undercard in San Antonio this weekend…Great to have Miami Hurricanes football back…So could Kevin Durant be one of those “egg” accounts on Twitter who have trolled you?…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.